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Home comforts vital in Aston Villa’s quest to return to the Premier League



Aston Villa return to Championship action on Saturday with a home clash against struggling Brentford.

Steve Bruce’s men made a disappointing start to the new season with two defeats from their opening three matches, with their 2-1 defeat at Reading back on August 15 leaving the Villans second from bottom in the division.

However, they have since then beaten Norwich City 4-2 and then came from behind to draw 1-1 at Bristol City just prior to the international break to suggest that they are on the road to recovery after a miserable opening few weeks.

And Saturday represents another opportunity to record three points as Dean Smith’s Brentford visit Villa Park, with the Bees one of just two Championship sides (Bolton Wanderers being the other) without a league win this term.

And as has been proved somewhat this season already by Bruce’s men, home comforts will be absolutely vital in their quest to sustain a promotion push this term.

Villa drew 1-1 at home to relegated Hull City on the opening day before securing their first league win of the campaign with a 4-2 thumping of Norwich on August 19, also at Villa Park.

And they also steamrolled Wigan Athletic 4-1 in the second round of the Carabao Cup three days later to underline how comfortable they feel playing in front of their own fans, and ultimately suggesting how important those supporters are going to be in any promotion push this term.

Clearly, Bruce prides himself on his home form, as he only lost three of his 18 Championship home games in charge of Villa last season, while his home record when he’s been promoted in recent times highlights exactly how important it really is.

When Bruce took Hull City to the Premier League back in 2016, they lost just once at home all season, and when he did it three years previous with the Tigers, they picked up 43 points from their 23 home games, inspiring them to a second place finish.

That trend continues even further back to his Birmingham days, losing just three times in their promotion-winning campaign of 2007, while back in 2002, when he took over in the December, Bruce went on to lose just two of his succeeding 11 home matches, they went on to win promotion via the play-offs.

Add in the fact that Villa’s away form over the past few years has been well documented given its hopelessness, they’ve no win in three this term already and have won just five of their last 87 league away matches, and their form at Villa Park this term will be absolutely crucial.

And that is why, even at this early stage of the season, Saturday’s clash with Brentford is a vital one, as Bruce will not only want to continue their fine home form in the early phase of the campaign, but he’ll also want Villa Park to become a tricky place to play football once again.

Brentford are struggling and somewhat bereft of confidence after seeing their squad decimated on deadline day – it thus represents an opportunity for Bruce and his Villa side to lay down another marker, and try to make Villa Park a fortress once again.

Their ability to make it a fortress will have a huge bearing on whether they can sustain a promotion push this term or not.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Home comforts vital in Aston Villa’s quest to return to the Premier League

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